In an interview with The Associated Press, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel declined to encourage former President Donald Trump to mount another bid for the White House in 2024, telling the news outlet that the GOP would remain “neutral” in the next presidential primary.
The national GOP, under McDaniel’s leadership, spent the past four years almost singularly focused on Trump’s 2020 reelection. But should he run again in 2024 — and he has publicly and privately suggested he wants to — the national party infrastructure would not support his ambitions over other prospective candidates in accordance with party rules, she said.
“The party has to stay neutral. I’m not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024,” McDaniel told The Associated Press when asked whether she wanted to see Trump run again in the next presidential election. “That’s going to be up to those candidates going forward. What I really do want to see him do, though, is help us win back majorities in 2022.”
The AP noted that McDaniel “has been a devoted Trump loyalist, but as the RNC leader, she is also tasked with helping her party recover from its painful 2020 election season in which Republicans lost the House, the Senate and the White House.”
Her job has only become more difficult in the post-Trump era, as the former president’s base continues to demand loyalty to Trump while some in the GOP “acknowledge that Trump’s norm-shattering behavior alienated elements of the coalition the GOP needs to win future elections,” the AP wrote.
In the interview, McDaniel called for Republican unity and discouraged elected officials from attacking other Republicans — even those who voted to impeach Trump. She declined to single out any specific Republicans when pressed, however, including Trump loyalist Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is traveling to Wyoming this week to campaign against Rep. Liz Cheney, the highest ranking House Republican that supported Trump’s impeachment.
“If we’re fighting each other every day and attacking each other and brandishing party purism, we’re not going to accomplish what we need to to win back the House and take back the Senate, and that’s my priority,” McDaniel said.
The report also noted that McDaniel condemned the QAnon conspiracy theory during the interview, describing the pro-Trump movement as “dangerous.”
“I think it’s really important after what’s just happened in our country that we have some self reflection on the violence that’s continuing to erupt in our country,” McDaniel said. “I think QAnon is beyond fringe. I think it’s dangerous.”
Image credit: Screengrab / PBS NewsHour / YouTube